The Day make the victory complete

#bangabandhu : January 10, l972. Day dawned in Dhaka. The great leader of the Bangalees Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is coming back home. The ocean of people passed the night sleepless. They thronged to the Racecourse and Tejgaon Airport to have a better place to stand on and have a glimpse of their beloved great leader from a better angle. What a awaiting it was! The national dailies pen pictured their eagerness as quoted here under.

The Daily lttefaq in its first lead wrote “The Great man is coming and all are thrilled in every direction. Today is the day we have waited for long. The Father of the Nation · Bangabandhu Sheikh Mojibor Rahman is coming to the sweet lap of his motherland in the midst overwhelming love and confidence embedded in sacrifice after a prolonged span of nine months. The jail of the Pakistani military killers was not strong enough to keep him inside.

Every daily awspaper depicted emotion-choked stories and editorials. The Daily Ittefaq in its first page editorial went to say under the headline ‘Esho Baaglar Svvapnik, Swagatam’ (come the dreamer of the Bengal, welcome) while the Dainik Bangla in its editorial said under the caption ‘Beerer Sonitey Tomay Baran Kari” (we receive you in the
pool of blood shed by our heroes)

The Daily Sangbad : The whole city is awaiting the Bangabandhu. By this time Dhaka has become a city of celebtation. With the arrival of the leader coming closer people of all walkes of life–peasants, labourers, students and members of the women folk are getting more prepared. The lttefaq in another story under the deadline “Aami Sarbagre grihini” ( First of all i am a housewife) : Begum Miijibur Rahman. while talking to a group of journalist yesterday said, first of all l am a housewife, I am to shoulder the responsibility of running a big family.

“Bangabandhu” – An illustrious leader

#bangabandhu : In 1973 at the Algiers Non-Aligned Summit, embracing Bangabandhu, Cuba’s Fidel Castro remarked, “I have not seen the Himalayas. But I have seen Sheikh Mujib. In personality and in courage, this man is the Himalayas. I have thus had the experience of witnessing the Himalayas.”

This Sheikh Mujib is not just a mere individual or a name. He is an institution. A movement. A revolution. An upsurge. A tidal bore. A Lenin, a Mao, a Netaji, a Gandhi, a Fidel, a Kemal… He is the essence of epic poetry and history. He is the architect of a nation – the Bengali Nation. He is Bangabandhu.

The history of Bengali nation goes back more than a thousand years. This is why contemporary history has recognised him as the greatest Bengali of a thousand years. And he will live on as the brightest star in the annals of historical legends. He will show the path to the Bengali Nation that his dreams are the basis of the existence of any nation struggling for freedom.

Bangabandhu’s political life began as a humble activist while he was still a student. He was fortunate to come in contact with the towering personalities like Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy and AK Fazlul Huq, both charismatic chief ministers of undivided Bengal at different times. Bangabandhu grew up in the gathering gloom of stormy politics as the British Raj in India was falling apart and the Second World War was violently rocking the continents. He witnessed the ravages of war and the stark realities of the great famine of 1943 in which about five million people lost their lives. The tragic fate of the people under colonial rule turned young Bangabandhu into a rebel.

This was also the time when he saw the legendary revolutionaries like Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Mahatma Gandhi challenging the British Raj. He also came to know the works of Bernard Shaw, Karl Marx, Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam. Soon after the partition of India in 1947, it was felt that Pakistan with its two wings separated by a physical distance of about 1,200 miles was a geographical absurdity. The economic, political, cultural and linguistic characters of the two wings were also different. Keeping the two wings together under a forced bond of a single state structure in the name of religious nationalism would merely result in rigid political control and economic exploitation of the eastern wing by the all-powerful western wing, which controlled the country’s capital and its economic and military might.

Bangabandhu started his fight against the British colonial overlords and then he directed his wrath against the then Pakistani neo-colonialists. Slowly, he prepared his people for their eventual destination. He was in the forefront of mass movements. After his imprisonment in 1949, he gave active support to the formation of the first mass opposition political party, the Awami League, under the leadership of Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani, which subsequently spearheaded the struggle for independence. In the 1954 provincial elections, Bangalis overwhelmingly voted for the Awami League-led United Front to power. The victory was, however, short-lived. In order to maintain their sway and dominance, the rulers in the western wing of Pakistan, through coercive means, imposed military rule in 1958. Bangabandhu and other nationalist leaders put up stiff resistance against it and were detained for years together.

In 1961, Bangabandhu was released from jail after he won a writ petition in the High Court. Then he started underground political activities against the martial law regime and dictator Ayub Khan. During this period, he set up an underground organisation called “Swadhin Bangiya Biplobi Parishad” or Independent Bangiya Revolutionary Council, comprising outstanding student leaders in order to work for achieving independence.

Keeping the essence of Swadhin Bangladesh, Bangabandhu placed his historic Six-Points in 1966. He called for a federal state structure for Pakistan and full autonomy for Bangla Desh with a parliamentary democratic system. The Six-Points became so popular in a short time that it was turned into the ‘Charter of Freedom’ for the Bengalis, their Magna Carta. The Army Junta of Pakistan threatened to use the language of weapons against the Six-Point movement and Bangabandhu was arrested under the Defence Rules on May 8, 1966. To subdue him, Bangabandhu was charged with secession and high treason, which was known as the infamous Agartala Conspiracy Case. But people burst into an upsurge against his arrest.

With the defeat of Ayub Khan regime in 1969 in a mass-upsurge, which led to the unconditional withdrawal of Agartala conspiracy case, Bangabandhu had become the undisputed, homegrown hero for the Bangali nation. People’s admiration of his unfathomable courage and yearning for his guidance proved that he was indeed the ‘Friend of Bengal’. They then started calling him Bangabandhu. The torch of politics of the Bangali Nation was truly and irreversibly in his hands. He would carry it ahead, undaunted in his determination to transform the destiny of his people to make a Shonar Bangla.

Bangabandhu’s finest hour came on March 7, 1971. His historic speech on that day changed the course of the history of struggle for independence in the then Pakistan and gave millions of Bangalis a new sense of direction. Bangabandhu possessed the rare quality of harnessing the overwhelming power of the masses that overthrew the military regime standing in the way of Bangladesh’s liberation. Bangabandhu’s March 7 Speech has become UNESCO’s world’s historic document since last year. His speech is now denoted as on a par with Gettysburg Address, and so on.

He declared in his speech, “The struggle now is the struggle for our emancipation; the struggle now is the struggle for our independence.” In his historic speech, Bangabandhu urged the nation to break the shackles of subjugation and declared, “Since we have given blood, we will give more blood. The people of this country will be liberated In-Sha-Allah.” He called upon people to turn every house into a fortress with whatever they had to fight the enemy.

He advised the people to prepare themselves for a guerrilla war against the enemy. He asked the people to start a total non-cooperation movement against the government of Yahya Khan. There were ineffectual orders from Yahya Khan on the one hand, while the nation, on the other hand, received directives from Bangabandhu’s Road 32 residence. The entire nation carried out Bangabandhu’s instructions. All institutions, including government offices, banks, insurance companies, schools, colleges, mills and factories obeyed Bangabandhu’s directives. The response of the Bangalis to Bangabandhu’s call was unparallel in history. It was Bangabandhu who conducted the administration of an independent Bangladesh from March 7 to March 25.

Another finest hour for Bangabandhu was when he declared independence of Bangladesh in the early hours of March 26, 1971, and an all-out guerrilla war began against the Pakistani oppressive regime. In his declaration he said, “This may be my last message. From today Bangla Desh is independent. I call upon the people of Bangla Desh, wherever you are and with whatever you have, to resist the army of occupation to the last. Your fight must go on until the last soldier of the Pakistan occupation army is expelled from the soil of Bangla Desh and final victory is achieved.”

And the victory achieved on December 16, 1971 was a dream come true for Bangabandhu. Thousands of people sacrificed their lives in the name of Bangabandhu. It was his political inspiration and moral persuasion that made mass people embrace martyrdom in Bangabandhu’s name. The quest for his independence became synonymous with his title “Bangabandhu”. And eventually he embraced martyrdom on the August 15, 1975 for the Bengali Nation.

The multifaceted life of any great man cannot be put together in language or colour. Bangabandhu was such a great man that he has become greater than his creation. It is not possible to hold him within the confines of picture-frame when his greatness is so unfathomable. He is our emancipation – for today and the days to come. The greatest treasure of the Bengali nation is his heritage and legacy. He has conquered death and become became a part of eternity. His memory is our passage to the days that are to be in future.

The writer works for Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF);

Author :Shazzad Khan, The Article was published in daily Star on March 30, 2018

Unesco recognises Bangabandhu’s 7th March speech

#bangabandhu : The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation has recognised the historic 7th March Speech of the country’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as part of world’s documentary heritage. The historic 7th March speech of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has been included in the memory of the World International Register, a list of world’s important documentary heritage maintained by UNESCO, according to a press release of Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The director general of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, announced the decision on Monday, at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, said the release. ‘The world will now get to know more about our father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and our glorious Liberation War’, said foreign minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali.

The 7th March speech of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman provided inspiration to the Bengali people in their quest for freedom and emancipation. The speech also energised the entire nation and prepared the people for the forthcoming liberation struggle. It also served as the ultimate source of inspiration for the countless freedom fighters who joined the Mukti Bahini.

Sheikh Mujib’s speech is played throughout the country during the various national occasions and continues to reverberate in hearts and minds of the Bengali people. This speech continues to enthrall our people and will continue to inspire succeeding generations.

The International Advisory Committee is responsible for recommending whether or not a document qualifies for inclusion on the Memory of the World International Register. The International Advisory Committee during its meeting from October 24 to 27 in 2017 recommended the 7th March speech for inscription on the Memory of the World International Register. The Memory of the World Register now includes a total of 427 documents and collection from all continents.

National Mourning Day observed

#bangabandhu : Bangladesh today fondly remembered Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on his 41st death anniversary with the President and the Prime Minister paying floral tributes to the Father of the Nation. President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina – Sheikh Mujib’s daughter – paid their tributes and offered wreaths on the portrait of ‘Bangabandhu’ at his Dhanmandi residence followed by a state salute by an army contingent.

President A Hamid and PM Sheikh Hasina later visited Sheikh Mujibur’s shrine at southwestern Tungipara village. Hundreds of people followed the Bangladeshi leaders in paying tribute, and recalling the horror when 32 people were killed as a group of rogue soldiers staged a coup in 1975. It was one the bloodiest political assassinations in the world.

The day is observed at the state level as the National Mourning Day in memory of the victims of the military coup. The national flag was lowered to half-mast at government and other buildings in the country. Sheikh Mujib – fondly called ‘Bangabandhu’ (friend of Bengal) – was killed in the predawn raid at his Dhanmandi house along with his wife, three sons, two daughters in-law and several presidential aides and Awami League leaders.

His two daughters – Sheikh Hasina, now prime minister, and Sheikh Rehana – escaped the bloodbath as they were in Germany.

“This brutality was a rare occurrence not only in the history of the Bangalee nation but also in the history of the world,” President Hamid said in a statement. Hasina in a statement said: “I pray to the Almighty Allah for the peace of the souls of the martyrs of the 15th August.”

Unrest followed the carnage, and then deputy army chief general Ziaur Rahman emerged as the strongman of Bangladesh. The regimes that took over protected the killers by enacting an indemnity law and rewarded several of the coup plotters with diplomatic posting abroad. As the Awami league returning to power in a landmark election in 1996 after 21 years of political wilderness, Awami League scrapped the indemnity law and initiated a process of delayed trial of the perpetrators of the carnage.

National Mourning Day today

BangabandhuThe nation will observe the National Mourning Day on Monday with due reverence and solemnity, marking the 41st anniversary of assassination of father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The government, different socio-cultural, political and professional organisations, including the ruling Awami League and its associate bodies, have taken various programmes, to mark the day paying tributes to Bangabandhu.

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman — architect of the country’s independence — was assassinated along with most of his family members at the crack of dawn on 15 August in 1975 by a cabal of army personnel under a deep-rooted conspiracy against the country and its independence. His two daughters — Sheikh Hasina, now the prime minister, and Sheikh Rehana – luckily survived the massacre as they were abroad at that time.

Eighteen members of the family along with Bangabandhu’s wife Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib, three sons Captain Sheikh Kamal, Lt Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Russell, two daughters-in-law Sultana Kamal and Rosy Jamal, brother Sheikh Naser, peasant leader Abdur Rob Serniabat, youth leader Sheikh Fazlul Haq Moni and his wife Arzu Moni, Baby Serniabat, Sukanta Babu, Arif and Abdul Nayeem Khan Rintu were killed on the fateful night. Bangabandhu’s military secretary Col Jamil was also killed. Some members of a family at Mohammadpur in the capital were also killed by artillery shells fired by the killers on the same day.

President Abdul Hamid and prime minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages commemorating the National Mourning Day. In his message, the President said The 15th August 1975 is regarded as a disgraceful chapter in the history of the Bangalee.

“This brutality was a rare occurrence not only in the history of the Bangalee nation but also in the history of the world. The aims of the killers were not merely to kill a Statesman but to annihilate the ideals of the war of liberation and reinstate the defeated forces,” he added. Mentioning that Bangabandhu struggled for attaining political independence along with people’s economic emancipation throughout his life, the president said,” It’s our utmost responsibility to build our country a happy and prosperous one by completing the unfinished task of Bangabandhu and in this way we can pay our deep tribute to this immortal soul of the soil.”

In her message, Sheikh Hasina said under the dynamic, courageous and charismatic leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the people of this territory brought the reddish sun of the independence breaking the shackles of subjugation of thousands of years. The Bangalees have got their own nation-state, flag and national anthem.

“But Bangabandhu was killed at a time when he had undertaken an arduous task of building a Golden Bangla reconstructing the war-ravaged country and unifying the whole nation. The defeated forces of the Liberation War made abortive attempts to ruin the tradition, culture and advancement of the Bangalee nation. Their target was to destroy the secular democratic fabric of Bangladesh,” she added. Sheikh Hasina said but the defeated forces of 1971 are still engaged in various ill-attempts and trying to obstruct the nation’s progress. “They are trying to destabilise the country through militancy and terrorist acts.”

“I firmly believe that there would be no room for terrorism and militancy in the soil of Bangladesh. Golden Bangla, as dreamt by the father of the nation, would be established that is our solemn pledge on the National Mourning Day,” she added. The day is a public holiday. The national flag will fly at half-mast at all government, semi-government and autonomous bodies, educational institutions, private buildings and Bangladesh missions abroad.
The national flag will fly at half-mast at Bangabandhu Bhaban in the capital and Awami League offices across the country at dawn.

President Abdul Hamid and the prime minister Sheikh Hasina will place wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu at the Bangabandhu Bhaban at Dhanmondi at 6:30am. The armed forces will present a guard of honour on the occasion. After their departure, people from all walks of life wearing black badges will pay homage to the father of the nation by placing wreaths at his portrait there. The premier will also place wreaths on the graves of the members of Bangabandhu’s family and other martyrs at Banani graveyard at 7:30am. Sheikh Hasina will also place wreaths at the Bangabandhu Mausoleum in Tungipara of Gopalganj at 10:00am. She will also take part in milad and doa to be held there. Hundreds of people will also gather at the mausoleum of Bangabandhu at Tungipara to pay deep homage to Bangabandhu.

Doa and milad mahfils will be held at all mosques after Zohr prayers and special prayers will be arranged in temples, pagodas, churches and other worship places at convenient time across the country. Food will also be distributed among insolvent and destitute people at noon. A milad mahfil will be held at the Darbar Hall of Bangabhaban after Zohr prayers on the occasion. Mahila Awami League will arrange a milad and doa mahfil at Bangabandhu Bhaban in the city after Asr prayers. Besides, Awami League will arrange a discussion at the city’s Krishibid Institution at 4:00pm on Tuesday. Awami League president and prime minister Sheikh Hasina will attend the programme as the chief guest. Different socio-political organisations will also organise various programmes, including discussions, child-juvenile painting competition, photographic exhibition and distribution of cooked food among the destitute. Bangladesh missions abroad will observe the National Mourning Day in a befitting manner on Monday.

State-run Bangladesh Betar and Bangladesh Television as well as private television channels and radio stations will air special programmes highlighting the life, struggle and achievements of the great leader. Newspapers will bring out supplements on the occasion.